Having support when going plant-based is extremely helpful when making the transition. Depending on your personality type, having a strong support system may be the difference between sticking with a plant-based diet, giving in to social pressures from time to time, or even giving up on a plant-based diet completely. Reach out if you need support, whether it’s conversations with family or friends, or finding supportive individuals and communities online.
Note: Please see defining terms for definitions for veganism, plant-based, whole food plant-based.
Also, see my other related posts:
- How to Go Plant-Based for tips on how to get started
- Navigating the Holidays as a Vegan/Whole Food Plant-Based Eater for tips on how to cope with the holidays
I’m lucky that my husband (Chris) is very laid-back; when I told him I was going vegan, he just said, “Really? Ok, do whatever you want.” Chris often responds that way when I want to make a change or try something new. He wasn’t fully onboard with eating a plant-based diet himself initially, but he did agree that it seemed as if I had done my research and that it appeared to be a healthy option for our son. He ended up coming around to eating a fully plant-based diet himself after I had been vegan for about 6-7 months. He also eventually decided to identify as vegan himself.
I’m also lucky that my Mom was interested in moving more towards a plant-based diet and we bounced ideas off each other, sent each other resources and recipes, and chatted about what we were reading, what we were doing, and how things were going. We still do all of those things to this day! My Dad and brothers are not fully plant-based, but have been supportive of my lifestyle change.
My in-laws were rather skeptical about the plant-based diet, and seemed rather concerned about our son in the beginning. However, they have been open to us bringing our own food for get-togethers, making vegan food for us, or enjoying plant-based dishes in our home. They still call us “vay-gans” sometimes, but that’s ok. They are well-intended and respect our choices.
Friends and Colleagues
I don’t recall much of a reaction from my friends when I told them I was going vegan. Their responses ranged from “oh, that’s weird” to being completely cool with it. I made it clear to them that I wasn’t going to try to pressure them to go vegan, so we could just each make our own food choices and focus on spending time together. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t much of an issue.
I am historically a bit of a people-pleaser, so I was quite concerned about offending friends, family, and co-workers with my new-found food choices. I didn’t talk about my choices much unless I was in a situation where it came up (ex. being invited for a meal at someone’s house, meals out with friends etc..). Many people didn’t know I had made a change with my diet until I started to lose a noticeable amount of weight and people started asking me what I was doing to lose the weight. Some people were completely uninterested in hearing about me going vegan. Interestingly, other people were curious and I’ve had great conversations with people about plant-based eating and veganism.
I know many people don’t have the luxury of supportive family members and friends. Many people are ridiculed, teased, and questioned relentlessly about the choice to be a plant-based eater. When I have had issues with people being rude or belittling, I have closed the conversation by letting them know that my plant-based lifestyle seems to be working for me. I do not get into arguments or debates about my lifestyle. This strategy may work for you as well. Whether or not you have supportive friends and family, it can be helpful to find other resources, and connect and find support with others living a plant-based lifestyle.
There are many ways to connect with other like-minded people. It’s fun to find supportive individuals and communities where information and recipes can be shared, and friendships can be made. Here are resources for finding support when going plant-based:
Veg Fests – Plant-Based, Vegan/Vegetarian or Veg-curious events
Vegan festivals or other plant-based events are great places to connect with like-minded people and learn about veganism or a plant-based diet.
- Virtual Veg Fest – https://virtualvegfest.com/live-talks/
- Veg Events – https://www.vegevents.com/festivals/
- Plant Based World Expo – http://www.plantbasedworldexpo.com/
PlantPure Communities (PPC)
“PPC offers programs, resources, tools, and knowledge to empower community leaders, activists, and advocates, in order to help educate people about evidence-based nutrition that shows that optimal health may be achieved through a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet.” -plantpurecommunities.org
- Website – https://plantpurecommunities.org/
- PPC Pod Network – https://plantpurecommunities.org/plantpurepods/
- Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/plantpurecommunities/?fref=ts
Find supportive people online through online communities using contact pages/forums on websites and interacting on social media – connect with us & others on YouTube, Facebook, and/or Instagram.
- Chef AJ – http://www.chefajwebsite.com/index.html
- Forks Over Knives – https://www.forksoverknives.com/
- High Carb Hannah – https://highcarbhannah.co/
- Krocks in the Kitchen – https://krocksinthekitchen.com/
- Nutrition Facts – https://nutritionfacts.org/
- Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) – https://www.pcrm.org/
- T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies – https://nutritionstudies.org/
- The Jaroudi Family – https://www.thejaroudifamily.com/
- Well Your World – https://wellyourworld.com/
Most of the sites above have YouTube channels and/or Facebook and Instagram accounts. Some also offer live interviews, cooking demos, and/or Q&As (some content is free and some are paid memberships). There are many other great websites and content creators on social media.
- The Exam Room by The Physicians Committee (PCRM) – https://www.pcrm.org/podcast Check out my interview with Chuck Carroll – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU5aGCQGhJc
- Corinne Nijjer’s Hope & Healing Podcast – https://www.corinnenijjer.com/the-podcast Check out Episode 160 featuring Plant Fit Meg – https://www.corinnenijjer.com/the-podcast/2020/11/24/episode-160-plant-fit-meg-shares-how-she-overcame-asthma-and-endometriosis
- Muscles by Brussels – https://www.veganproteins.com/category/podcast/
- No Meat Athlete – https://www.nomeatathlete.com/radio-archive/
- Plant-Strong – https://www.plantstrongpodcast.com/
- Rich Roll – https://www.richroll.com/all-episodes/
- Switch 4 Good – https://switch4good.org/podcast/
Most of the podcasts above also have YouTube channels and/or Facebook and Instagram accounts